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Member since August 14, 2013

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Writers’ Conferences for Newbies: How to Attend Your First Writers’ Conference
by Guest Blogger in Writers’ Conferences for Newbies: How to Attend Your First Writers’ Conference
11:35 am on January 10, 2019

Writers’ conferences can launch a career. They bring writers face to face with authors, agents, editors, publishers, and other writers at all skill levels.

But they can feel overwhelming for the uninitiated. With all the offerings, how does a writer navigate a conference to get the most from it?

The Script Polish: How to Maximize Your Screenplay’s Impact and Minimize Risk of Rejection
by Guest Blogger in The Script Polish: How to Maximize Your Screenplay’s Impact and Minimize Risk of Rejection
10:58 am on August 30, 2018

Polishing a screenplay, or doing a polish on a script, is a part of the screenwriting process that few screenwriters ever go into detail about when asked. Even when plied with liquor. Sure, we’ve all heard writers and producers use terms like “tighten it up” or “give it some polish” or “tweak it for production,” but what do any of those terms really mean?

Let’s break “the script polish” process down into two general goals a screenwriter needs to focus on when sitting down to polish her script. Those two general goals are maximizing impact and minimizing risk.

How to Write an Antagonist That Everyone Loves — And Why You Should
by Guest Blogger in How to Write an Antagonist That Everyone Loves — And Why You Should
08:30 am on August 23, 2018

Not many people like antagonists. The antagonists are supposed to be antagonizing — that’s their whole purpose. They are designed to aggravate the protagonists; to foil the plans of the heroes and create conflict. They are supposed to be a villain for our heroes to defeat, right?

Sure. But what if they could be more?

How to Get the Most From Writing Advice
by Guest Blogger in How to Get the Most From Writing Advice
08:30 am on August 2, 2018

I subscribe to several writing web and blog sites. I trust them to give me sound writing advice. But sometimes the sheer volume of advice engulfs me, and I feel like I’m in the middle of a tidal wave.

Being overwhelmed can lead to creative paralysis. I work myself into a frenzy trying to apply everything to all my writing right now. Or, I close the computer or put down my pen and count the leaves on my philodendron plant. Neither approach is helpful.

With so much useful writing advice, how do you know where to start?

How to Win the Readers’ Choice Award: 5 Strategic Things One Winner Did
by Guest Blogger in How to Win the Readers’ Choice Award: 5 Strategic Things One Winner Did
09:00 am on April 26, 2018

“I published a book, didn’t tell a soul about it, and it became a best seller!!” Said no writer ever.

But we wish it were true, don’t we? We want to hole up and write epic tales and thought-provoking prose, not hock books door to door and shout from the rooftops about how awesome we are. Can’t we just write? Well … write, but also be discovered and then catapulted to great heights by someone else.

We’d like readers to find us that way, please. We don’t want to navigate those scary waters of how to market a book.

How to Write a Scene: 3 Theater Techniques to Make Your Story Jump Off the Page
by Guest Blogger in How to Write a Scene: 3 Theater Techniques to Make Your Story Jump Off the Page
12:46 pm on April 24, 2018

It’s time to write that scene. You know, the one you’ve been avoiding. You’ve sketched out your character and the scene’s objective, but how do you get your character from point A to point B? What exact words should he use? What specific actions should she take to accomplish her scene goal?

If you’ve ever faced that blank page with these questions in mind, you’ll be pleased to learn about three techniques, borrowed from the actor’s playbook, that will boost your writing and make your story shine. Let’s take a look at how to write a scene with the mindset of an actor.

Healing From Shame: How to Overcome the Insidious Cause of Writer’s Block
by Guest Blogger in Healing From Shame: How to Overcome the Insidious Cause of Writer’s Block
10:52 am on January 25, 2018

Every time we sit down to write, our mood and state of mind affect our words. We infuse, to some extent, everything we write with our unique “voice.” Our emotions come through on the page.

When we’re struggling to eke out even a few words and make sense of our writing, it shows in our work. Our characters are flat. Our scenes are dull and passive. Our plot is thin and weak. Nothing we try fixes the problems. Or, maybe words don’t come at all.

We may declare that we have a case of writer’s block, particularly if we’ve wrestled with the vexation for weeks or months. But, there may be a stronger and more insidious obstacle: shame.

How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself
by Guest Blogger in How to Use Big Words Without Making a Fool of Yourself
11:57 am on September 28, 2017

Have you ever used a word for years — like, maybe during your thesis defense or in a high-profile report for work — then realized one day that you had it totally wrong? That big word you thought was making you look so erudite was, in fact, working against you. Turns out, coif is not the same as coiffure, and you never even realized it.

No one is immune from this, neither journalists nor poets, essayists nor novelists. The problem often stems from our natural inclination as writers to grab hold of an exciting new word and just run with it. Not only do we end up using words just plain wrong, our enthusiasm leads to overuse as well.

By slowing down just a little bit, recognizing common pitfalls, and inserting some deliberate practice into your vocabulary usage, you can turn this trend around.

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